Sunday, March 19, 2017

How We Spent Spring Break




My wife and I went to Florida this past week.  We found that travel and lodging during Spring Break involves cashing in a couple of CDs since prices qualify for gouging; but that’s a whole other story.

The purpose of our trip was to scatter my father’s ashes, a gesture of respect which gave us closure, much as having a formal funeral puts a period at the end of a sentence.

The funeral home supplied a TSA approved urn made of nicely polished wood containing dad’s cremated ashes along with an official letter issued by the State of Texas for permission to transport human remains. 

We showed up earlier than normal to avoid complications should the urn not pass TSA check point guidelines as advised.  We were told that his urn would be considered ‘carry on luggage’; dwell on that for a moment.  We’d placed the urn in a blue plastic bag from Sketchers shoe store so as not to alarm folks at the airport.

Thinking of dad as ‘carry on luggage’ made me smile, a morbid sense of humor that a retired night shift cop would find amusing.  At least we didn’t have to purchase a ticket and put a seat belt around the urn.

The folks at the TSA check point ran the urn through their X-ray machine twice and then took several swabs with chemically treated patches to make sure it didn’t contain bomb making substances.  Dad passed (actually he ‘passed’ back in October) and we placed him in the overhead luggage compartment without incident.

Dad’s Pastor volunteered the use of his boat as he ferried my sister and her husband along with my wife and me to the same location where mom’s ashes had been scattered last August.  We had an informal burial service and for all practical purposes we’d accomplished our mission.

But that’s not why I’m writing…

TSA flagged my wife’s carry on luggage; something raised suspicion as it went through the X-ray machine.  We were herded over to a steel table where they went though every inch of it.  A coin purse had too many quarters which prevented them from figuring out what it was. 

They went through the toiletries and told us we had a tube of liquid material that exceeded the Three and One Half Ounce Rule, a brand new unopened tube of doTerra Deep Blue Rub, essential oils used to ease pain and assist the body in a number of ways.  There are strict rules from the FDA which forbid essential oil retailers from saying essential oils ‘cure’ anything or they come after us for making an unsubstantiated product claim.

Let’s just say some folks find essential oils help and leave it at that.  I use essential oils rather than drugs ‘Big Pharma’ and pill pushing doctors want me to use. 

The TSA threw my perfectly good Thirty Dollar tube of Deep Blue Rub in the trash…  It was half an ounce over their arbitrarily determined limit for liquids making it suspect for bomb making material used by terrorists to blow up an airplane.

Neither my wife nor I fit the profile of Islamic Terrorists; but common sense got thrown in the trash can along with profiling individuals.  99 % of terrorism is carried out by followers of Islam; but that other 1%... just might be us. 

It’s part of being Politically Correct so as not to antagonize Muslims who’ve already declared war on Western Civilization, promising to either enslave or murder us at their discretion.  

I suggested that one solution would be for me to squeeze out half of the tube in the trash thereby saving me fifteen dollars worth of Deep Blue Rub; it would, after all be well under the three and one half ounce arbitrarily arrived at limit.

“We’re not permitted to do that.  You’ll have to throw it all in the trash”.  My wife reminded me that boarding the airplane was a better idea than going to prison so I permitted the veins in my neck to remain swollen until we’d passed by the TSA folks.

Has anyone considered the absurdity of what I’ve pointed out? 

The 4th Amendment reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The 4th Amendment was written specifically to prevent government officials from conducting searches without probable cause or search warrants.  I felt violated because my right to be secure from an unreasonable search and seizure was ignored…; but it was for my own good and the security of our nation, Spit!

The courts have interpreted the language of our Founders to mean anything they damn well want it to mean as individual rights and the constitution have been thrown into the trash can of obscurity where it lies crumpled and bruised. 

I’ve heard Deep Blue Rub is good for bruises…

This article has been cross posted to The Self Educated American, a publication whose banner reads, “Standing Fast By the Judeo-Christian Heritage, Limited Government and the U.S. Constitution”.



Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Allo and the 4th Amendment






There’s a new program available from Google for Messaging, it’s called Allo and the download is free according to their promotion.  



Google will use that data to improve parts of the app, such as its smart replies feature. That will allow the app to read through conversations and try and work out how people talk – it can then use that data to suggest what they might want to say to their friends.”

Wonderful, now your smart phone can figure out what you might say before you’ve come up with the words on your own…But that’s not nearly as important as Google storing everything you’ve said so they can plan a marketing strategy based on your interests.

Unlike other messaging programs, Google will save everything you say… Forever.

“… By keeping track of all messages, Allo conversations will be accessible by law enforcement with warrants…”

The courts have ignored the intent of our Founders when they wrote down the Bill of Rights to be added to our Constitution.  These black robed jurists somehow think that electronic conversations aren’t covered the same way as other forms of communication.  After all, Thomas Jefferson didn’t have a Smart Phone so those aren’t the same as letters mailed or hand delivered during correspondence.

4th Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Government agencies have been ignoring the 4th Amendment for so long now as to make it obsolete. 

Go to any airport and watch as passengers awaiting boarding are randomly pulled out of line for invasive body searches.  There is no probable cause for searches, no warrant from a judge…but it’s for the safety of everyone... so we ‘voluntarily’ abandon the 4th Amendment because it might stop an Islamic Terrorist from taking out the Empire State Building while murdering hundreds of innocent citizens.

Under the same pretense of protecting us from Islamic Terrorists, substitute 'other dangers' if that term makes you uncomfortable, the NSA listens in on just about every conversation that hits the air.  Supposedly they only listen in on folks considered terrorists;  but… that opens the door to listening in on just about anyone for just about any reason.

According to Edward Snowden, famous for leaking more information than was thought possible, government agencies listen in, with or without warrants and keep everything they come across, doesn’t matter what it is, it gets filed away.  Someday they might use that information to embarrass or humiliate someone running for high office… Nah, that would never happen.

Then there’s the idea that the 4th Amendment isn’t in play if you are within a hundred miles of the border or point of entry into the country.  That must have been part of the digital recording that Thomas Jefferson had deleted when he and the other Founders were formulating the best ways to protect individual God given inalienable rights.

As a police officer it was part of my job to inform you that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, it’s part of the Miranda Warning given to suspects upon their arrest.

In our day you had better understand that anything you say can and will be used…for what ever Google, its advertisers or the government wants to do with it.  You have no rights in a totalitarian state.

This article has been cross posted to The Self Educated American, a publication whose banner reads, “Standing Fast By the Judeo-Christian Heritage, Limited Government and the U.S. Constitution”.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fractured Gospel Tales



It should be noted that the first airing of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, at the time called, Rocky and Friends, happened back in 1959. I was only nine at the time while enjoying the characters and stories, looking forward with eagerness for each new show. The light hearted style had humor which could be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

One of my favorite parts was the Fractured Fairy Tale portion in which short morality plays were offered; a little twisted perhaps, but entertaining none the less.  These skits were narrated by Edward Everett Horton, a master of elocution with just the right amount of sarcasm in his presentation to make me appreciate the English language.

Perhaps my upbringing under such influences has something to do with last week’s Primary lesson to the seven year old children.  We were talking about the powers which created the Earth, that being the priesthood power of Jesus Christ, who is also referred to as the Creator at times.

One of the children began telling from memory, the miracle of the fishes and loaves when the Lord fed the multitude as found in Matthew 14:17-20

And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.

He said, Bring them hither to me.

And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

I asked if they were aware that there were leftovers and there was enough of a pause for me to add, “You did know that Jesus is responsible for inventing Tupperware?  How else would he keep from having to throw away so much food?”

My team teaching partner for the day, Brother Reid, shook his head and wondered what other curious information had been shared with these young people.  

It helps if you know how to smile and wink at the appropriate moment when telling children stories; they know when you’re pulling their legs, yes, they really do know.

This article has been cross posted to The Self Educated American, a publication whose banner reads, “Standing Fast By the Judeo-Christian Heritage, Limited Government and the U.S. Constitution”.